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I came across the following answer in the Low Quality Post queue this morning:

https://ell.stackexchange.com/a/15221/3705

The answer is not correct, but I thought that Low Quality meant something other than just wrong.

Would you:

  1. Down-vote and select "Looks Okay".
  2. Recommend deletion
  3. Something else
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  • I flagged it with "Low Quality" after others had already left comments. If I were the first, I would also leave a comment. If the OA persisted in the (incorrect) answer, then I downvoted. But that's only me. I'm not sure about others. Jan 2 '14 at 14:53
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Disclaimer: This is opinion.

The answer as it stands is not entirely incorrect. It is in fact somewhat right, as J.R. noted in the comments. I see where you're coming from on that point, but I don't really think you can argue against the answer on that basis.

However, it is an extremely poor answer: It explains nothing, it repeats itself for no reason, it provides no sources, and it is needlessly dogmatic. (When writing a letter, "correctly" using off vs off of is nowhere near as important as basics such as spelling the recipient's name correctly.) On that basis it would seem to be a perfect candidate for the VLQ queue.

Note that there is no flag reason stating that "the answer is wrong". This is by design. Wrong answers are supposed to be downvoted. Moderators (or those with access to moderator tools) are not supposed to be judging the correctness of answers in their role as moderators. George Stocker posted an excellent answer about correct use of VLQ on MSO. Shog's comment on the answer is informative as well. Finally, this duplicate question on MSO has some useful answers, including one from our own mistu4u.

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  • +1. As a moderator I certainly would never delete a question for being wrong - that's what my downvotes are for. On the other hand, Community, the automated bot run by Stack Exchange will delete answers that have been heavily downvoted, or un-answered questions that have been heavily downvoted after a certain amount of time.
    – Matt
    Jan 2 '14 at 20:57
  • +1 Your answer (and the links to good posts) makes it clearer. I think I now have a good idea how I should deal with incorrect answers appropriately. Jan 3 '14 at 13:09
  • @Matt Answers are never deleted automatically, only questions (roughly speaking, if unanswered and negatively scored, with various thresholds I won't go into here). Jan 7 '14 at 21:55
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If an answer is wrong, I downvote and then explain why I believe it's wrong in a comment. I think that's one of the things comments are for. Also, I never downvote without giving a comment. I hate it when someone downvotes one of my answers with no explanation why.

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This answer is wrong, but this isn't a reason to delete it. “Looks Good” in the low quality review queue is confusing: it means “I don't think this should be deleted” — so when you see a wrong answer, you should open it in another tab and downvote, but select “Looks Good” in the low quality review.

The reason this answer should be deleted is that it is very low quality (orthogonally from being wrong). It's a single peremptory assertion, stated in broken English, with not the slightest attempt to explain that position. This alone would make it low quality — though on this site “this is wrong because I'm a native speaker and I don't recognize it as belonging to my native language” is a valid answer sometimes.

The clincher is that it doesn't answer the question: the question asks “what does ‘off of‘ mean”, and this answer only states that this is incorrect but does not explain the meaning. This, and not the fact that the statement is incorrect, is why I voted to delete this post in the low quality review queue.

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